2nd Lt. Victoria Graham receiving her ranks

2021 ROTC Commissioning

Family and friends of Cadet Victoria Graham gathered in Burckart Hall to support her in the next step of her military career: her commissioning into the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

Commission Opening

The ROTC Color Guard opened the commissioning by the posting of the colors, followed by the playing of the National Anthem.

Sergeant First Class (SFC) Luciano opened the ceremony by welcoming guests to the commissioning ceremony at MBU as part of the Madison Badger Battalion. He then invited Dr. Marty Marriott to give the invocation.

Challenge from Dr. Tracy Foster

After the prayer, Dr. Foster was called to the podium to challenge the cadet in her spiritual walk. Foster spent the next few moments talking about change.

“Change is inevitable,” Foster noted as he expounded on the many things in the military that have changed since he was commissioned. He also spoke of God’s faithfulness and His unchanging nature. Change is constant, but God never changes.

“Be a good soldier for Christ,” Foster challenged the cadet in closing.

The Oath of Office

After the challenge, SFC Luciano called on Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Cheney to administer the Oath of Office.

Cadet Graham echoed the following oath:

I do solemnly swear

to support and defend the constitution of the United States

against all enemies, foreign and domestic,

that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,

that I make this obligation freely,

without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion,

and that I will well and faithfully

discharge the duties of the office

upon which I am about to enter,

so help me God.

Captain (CPT) Lieberman then came to the platform to administer the Oath of Office for the National Guard.

2nd Lt. Graham echoed the following oath:

I do solemnly swear

to support and defend the constitution of the United States

and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin

against all enemies, foreign and domestic,

that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,

that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of the State of Wisconsin

that I make this obligation freely,

without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion,

and that I will well and faithfully

discharge the duties of the office

of 2nd Lieutenant, of the Army National Guard of the State of Wisconsin

of which I am about to enter

so help me God.

Following the oaths, the family members came forward to pin on the rank of the newly appointed officer.

2nd Lt. Graham is commissioned as an Adjutant General in the National Guard.

History of the First Salute and Tradition of the Silver Dollar

SFC Luciano gave the history of the first salute. This tradition began in Colonial America when newly commissioned officers were assigned a mentor in the Army. “The silver dollar is traditionally the only coin given in exchange for the first salute,” SFC Luciano stated.

“It is an acknowledgment from one professional to and other saying, ‘Welcome to our service and the profession of arms.’”

After receiving her first salute from SFC Luciano, 2nd Lt. Graham thanked each member in attendance for their part in her life. She gave personal remarks to each of the cadre present and to her parents.

Closing of the Ceremony

Dr. Jeffrey Drost was called to the podium to give the benediction. He asked God to bless Graham’s continued training and that she would have mentors who would continue to challenge her.

To view the Commissioning ceremony, click here.

To see photos of the event, click here.